Saturday, April 8, 2017

Halloween 2016

Halloween time!

IMG_4475 from Christa on Vimeo.

Carving and painting pumpkins.

Gangsta, Boxer, Skeleton and Astronaut 

School Halloween party planning supplies. I had some personal things going on in late October and at the last minute couldn't be home to put on Preston's class party. John stepped up to the plate and organized everything. He went to all the stores, bought all the stuff and organized it ALL! He was A-mazing! He got all the kids ready for school, gathered all of their costumes and went to school the next morning and was able to recruit some mom volunteers to help run the games and food stations. He really pulled it off. I was so proud of him and grateful! 

School parties.

Threw in some October B-ball action from Kellen. I call him the Try-er-Out-er. He likes to try everything once or twice when it comes to sports. It's not so much about winning or competing for him quite yet as it is the social interaction of the games. If it's not socially stimulating for him or he 's not making lots of friends, it's probably not a sport he'll like-- at least this season ;)

Coach daddy.

Bedtime with 4 kids can take a long time. Especially with reading and homework most nights. I delegate some tasks to the bros. Preston has become such a great story reader to Mason. 

A rare date night going to see comedian/journalist/anchor guy, Lee Camp. Hilarious, outspoken guy with a thousand good points!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Devils Head Lookout

Right after fall started we took the kids to Pike National Forest which is just an hour away. Our CO, UTAH, OUT WEST bucket list is long! So many places we want to take the kids. And we're realizing so many of them are just around the corner from us. Fun stuff and so many adventures to be had.

Taking the minivan up to the top of the start of the trail was a little scary. A tiny winding road. We almost turned back, but I'm so glad we didn't. 

Just a couple little dudes taking a break and chatting.

A tornado ripped through the area about a year ago. It did some major damage to a couple spots in the forest.

IMG_9482 from Christa on Vimeo.

Love these views!

Mason took his first big hike in Estes Park when he was 3. Little dude made to the top of Bible Point, easily over an hour hike up some tough terrain. We only carried him a couple times. The youngest of 4 boys, his determination to keep up is strong and even stronger than his older bros at times.

My boys <3 p="">

Our snack break spot wasn't too shabby. 

Climb. That's what boys do. John usually freaks while their running and climbing and I'm the one that tells them to explore and be boys. We balance each other out :)

A perfect day for our hike.

We finally reached the lookout cabin.

Here is the house that the fire lookout staff would stay in while in between shifts (we think)?

I freaked.

I can stand on top of a 14,000 ft. mountain but this stairway to the top made me short of breath. 

Navigating this giant boulder on top of a mountain.

Sweet Adrian.

Breathtaking. These beautiful places. 

I want to give our kids as many experiences in beautiful places as we possibly can. One day (and it's coming up way-too-fast... wah!) they will be doing their own things, in different places, with different people and having new experiences. I want them to look back, smile and remember these times and these experiences that we all shared together. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Quandary Peak - 14er #2

On August 1st 2016

After spending a day in Boulder hiking the Flat Irons with success, Rachel and Stacy felt pretty confident in attempting a 14er the next day. We got home late and stayed up until midnight trying to decide which one to go for. We contemplated Greys and Torreys but thought trying to do two might be pushing it. 

Some of the others we thought would be good were just a bit too far of a drive. And then some of the closer ones were on a level higher than we thought we should attempt. So right before we fell asleep we picked one of the tallest out of all of the 53 in Colorado. Quandary Peak which is the 13th tallest 14er here and about 6.3 miles round trip. It was near Breckenridge, so not too far of a drive and it was an easier level with well built trails. 

We were failing before we even left the house the next day. We wanted to leave at 6:30am. We actually left at 8:30 and didn't get to Quandary until 10:45. That's a horrible time to start a 14er. A big no, no. The golden rules is that you should be leaving the summit to head back down by noon to avoid the all to common afternoon lightening and showers. Eek.

So we had lots of things working against us already. Lack of sleep, sore from hiking the day before, 2 people that had just 30 hours to acclimate to the thin air and a super late start to the day. The odds were not in our favor.

We thought we'd just hurry it up and go for it. Typical us when we are all together, we can do anything. As we started our hike around 11 we soon passed tons of people that were already on their way back down. That definitely had us a bit bummed. We didn't want to be the only ones up there in case something crazy happened. And we certainly knew that we needed someone on top to take our group picture, darn it. No one brought a selfie stick :)

The weather was A-mazing!! 

The weather on the mountains can be deceiving. One minute sun and the next minute storm clouds could roll in and bam. 

The workers on the trail even gave us the pitty face regarding our late start. 

We stopped and took at least 500 pictures while Stacy yelled at us to hurry and it probably added an extra hour to our time.

These people were on their way down and as soon as they passed the mountain goat mama and her babies, she attacked there dogs right after this picture was taken. It was scary! This was a narrow part of the path and it was straight down on both sides. Mama goat was angry.

Towards the end it got pretty steep. The path in the background looks so tiny.

We were almost there.

We really just got so lucky with the weather. Not a grey cloud in sight.

Off the side was a far, far way down.

So happy and oxygen deprived.

Lunch break with the most amazing view!

I've been best friends with Rachel since we were 6 years old and with Stacy since we were 12.  That's a total of 56 years of friendship with these two. When you aren't given sisters in this life you get the chance to pick your own! I think it's rare to be able to keep long distance friendships up when life takes you in so many different directions. Along with balancing family, lots of kids and loads of activities. Good friendships are work and they are hard to come by so I don't take them for granted one bit. #soblessed

We had to pass more goats. It was scary after seeing the one charge the dogs.

My first 14er had about 30 goats on the mountain.

Obligatory sign and picture.

I think we spent at least an hour messing around on the top, taking pictures and talking about how shocked we were that we made it. We stayed up there until about 2 or 3.

There were 2 people getting ready to leave the top and then one guy behind us. Yeah, we had photographers!

Running on top of a giant mountain. 

The seal.

Dancers pose-- Natrajasana. On every 14er no doubt. 

Proud us.

So there was this hanging cliff-like rock that was sticking out of the side of the top of this peak. The guy that came up behind us wanted his picture taken sitting on it. I thought he was crazy! Then Rachel decided it was a once in a lifetime picture. This picture doesn't do this daring act justice. Her feet were dangling off this thing. Ahh!

I decided to get partially on it. I couldn't scoot all the way to the end. I actually almost threw up just sitting here at the back of it. Like-almost-passed-out and puked. I couldn't even look down or I knew I would just fall in!

All the other hikers were out of sight at this point. It was just us.

I spy a guy sleeping. So camouflaged.

We were so scared to pass these goats again. They kept starring us down. We were trying so hard not to make eye contact with them. I just kept envisioning them charging us right off the side of this mountain. Rachel - the brave one, went first. Then she grabbed a huge rock just in case while Stacy and I passed them, she was our look out. We have each others back :) Literally.

On the way down we were already planning for the next 14er. I can't wait!